Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Report: John Blake introduced agent
Brian Bosworth and another former Oklahoma player told Yahoo! Sports that former North Carolina assistant coach John Blake introduced them to agent Gary Wichard.
Blake's relationship with Wichard is part of the focus of investigations UNC, the NCAA, the NFL Players Association and the North Carolina Secretary of State's office.
Blake resigned from North Carolina's staff Sept. 5 and has denied steering players to Wichard.
Blake was an assistant coach at Oklahoma in the mid-1980s, when Bosworth was an All-American linebacker.
In a story posted Tuesday, Bosworth told Yahoo! that Blake set up all his meetings with Wichard.
"You have to understand, John was the eyes inside the locker room," Bosworth told the website. "He was the fisherman and Gary was the cook. You've got to have somebody out there who is going to get the bounty, and Gary's the one who then goes and sells the bounty. I don't understand why they would be trying to skirt the truth on that. That is what it was. It was so blatant. And I know I wasn't the only player who saw it."
After a stint as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys, Blake became Oklahoma's head coach from 1996-98.
Former Sooners tight end Stephen Alexander, who was a second-round draft choice by the Washington Redskins in 1998, told Yahoo! that Blake also set up his meeting with Wichard.
Alexander said he never felt he was being steered to Wichard.
"It was just Gary," Alexander said. "I didn't know if it was right or wrong. But I do know I never accepted money from Gary or John."
The NCAA's probe of improper benefits to football players from agents has led to several North Carolina players, including NFL prospects Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Robert Quinn, being suspended.
Wichard's attorney has confirmed that the agent was interviewed by investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's office, who are trying to determine whether the state's sports agent laws were broken.